When are you truly “making it”? Today’s episode is the last in a four-part series on my unpopular opinions about commonly-held beliefs in the wedding photography business. I’m sharing the moment when you can truly say that you’ve “made it” and why being a professional has nothing to do with milestones.
The Shoot It Straight Podcast is brought to you by Sabrina Gebhardt, photographer and educator. Join us each week as we discuss what it’s like to be a female creative entrepreneur while balancing entrepreneurship and motherhood. If you’re trying to find balance in this exciting place you’re in, yet willing to talk about the hard stuff too, Shoot It Straight Podcast is here to share practical and tangible takeaways to help you shoot it straight.
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This episode is brought to you by Root to Rise, a mastermind and retreat for female photographers where personal development meets business growth. During the four-month experience, students have weekly calls focused on goals, boundaries, money, and marketing. The program also includes incredible guest teachers, a private Facebook community, and weekly Voxer hours with individualized guidance and mentorship. Sign up today to join the waitlist.
Review the Show Notes:
The fourth unpopular opinion (1:51)
When you’ve “made it” (2:06)
The bar is always moving (3:59)
Your goals are not the problem (4:44)
You are already a professional (7:38)
You do not have to reach any milestone (8:44)
Review the Transcript:
Welcome to the shoot it straight podcast. I’m your host, Sabrina Gephardt. Here I will share an honest take on what it’s like to be a female creative entrepreneur. while balancing business motherhood and life. myself along with my guests will get vulnerable through honest conversations and relatable stories because we’re willing to go there. If you’re trying to find balance in this exciting place you’re in yet willing to talk about the hard stuff to to shoot it straight podcast is here to share practical and tangible takeaways to help you shoot it straight.
Welcome back to the shoot it straight podcast friend. This episode is the last in a four part series of unpopular opinions and I’m really excited about this one. But before we dive in, just in case you missed the first three episodes in this series. In episode 56. I unpacked unpopular opinion number one that your success as a photographer is defined by the number of sessions on your calendar. In Episode 57, I unpacked the second unpopular opinion all about selling digital files. And in last week’s episode, I unpacked the third unpopular opinion that it’s never too late to make a big change to your business. Each of those were great episodes, and you definitely want to go back and listen to them if you haven’t already. One last thing before I get into this episode, I do want to give you a bit of a warning statement here. Today’s unpopular opinion is kind of a vague one. It’s one that’s harder to explain and examine than the previous ones. But I really believe in this. And I really want you to hear it.
So I’m going for it today. And I hope that you are able to track with me. Okay, so now that you’ve been warned, let’s dive in. The fourth and final opinion in this series that I want to unpack is this notion of ever, quote unquote, making it again, it sounds a little vague, but I know that you know what I mean. So that’s why we’re going for it today, it’s having these reoccurring thoughts like when this happens, I will finally have made it as a professional, or when I accomplished this thing, I will be successful, or I just want to do this one thing, and then I will confidently be able to say that I am an expert. And since many of you listening out there are photographers, I want to give you some specific examples of what these statements might sound like to you. But again, depending on what industry you’re in, they could be a little bit different. So for the photographers out there, you might be thinking, when I’m able to charge over $1,000 for a session, I will have made it or when I’m awarded this designation or this distinction, I will be a real professional.
Or once I finally nail my editing style, I will be confident in saying that I’m a professional photographer, or maybe it’s finally being published in a magazine, or being asked to mentor another photographer, or being hired by a big name brand, or even something as seemingly small as once I have custom branding and a custom website launched, then I will have made it and be a legitimate professional photographer. There’s nothing wrong with those statements or those goals. They’re all great and positive and inspiring. And if you feel called to reach for one or more of them, then fabulous, more power to you. But the part of this that I want to push back on is the second half of those statements, the part that goes, then I will be successful, then I will be a real professional, then I will be an expert. It’s the then part of the statement that I completely disagree with. It’s the then part of the statement that I think can be dangerous and almost detrimental to your business and to your mindset.
The important thing to remember is that the bar is always moving, and it will always continue to move, you will never quote unquote, make it and when you’re striving for goals with that mentality in mind, once you reach them, you don’t feel the joy and the pride and the excitement that you should for all of your hard work. Instead, you find yourself at the bottom of yet another mountain because the bar has been raised and you’re striving for something new. It never feels complete. This constant strive with the mindset of trying to make it is dangerous because inevitably it leads to stress, anxiety and burnout because making it is a fake thing. Now I want to pause here and speak to something that you might be thinking right now if you’ve been around here for a hot minute. This unpack popular opinion that I’m unpacking today does not have to do with setting goals. I love goals. You’ve heard me speak on goals. I think goals are exciting. extremely important for both personal development and business development. Truly, I love goals. In fact, I believe in them so wholeheartedly that they’re a big part of both my online course the Alliance photographer, and my mastermind route arise. I also spend almost every January teaching and coaching on goals inside of my membership, the roundtable. If you are in my orbit, you are not getting out of goal setting. Okay? Sorry, not sorry.
So it isn’t the goals themselves that are bad. It isn’t even bouncing from meeting one goal straight into a new goal. That’s bad. What I disagree with again, is the making it part. It’s the belief that you have to do something to make it that you have to change to make it that you have to be different than you are to make it hear me when I say this, making it is not a thing. Making it is a fake bar that society and social media has made up making it is stemmed from believing that you are not good enough based on comparison, based on looking at what everyone else is doing. Making. It is a fake belief, and it’s based on scarcity. Today’s episode is brought to you by route to rise a four month mastermind and retreat for female photographers. That is where personal development meets business growth. During the four month experience, students have weekly calls focusing on a variety of topics that both better their lives and their businesses. Think topics like goals, boundaries, money and marketing, and many many others. The program also includes incredible guest teachers, a private Facebook community and weekly Voxer hours, where you get individualized guidance and mentoring from me on topics that matter to you and your business.
One of the best parts of the experience is definitely the three day in person retreat. Consider this the most fun girls weekend ever. We eat well do yoga, photograph three sessions, work through portfolio reviews, take headshots and build deep friendships, I can tell you that the women who have gone through this program have had some absolutely incredible transformations reached massive goals and changed the trajectory of their businesses. If you want to get on the waitlist to be notified when enrollment opens again soon, you can head over to the link in the show notes and get on that list. And now back to the episode.
My friend, you are already a professional, you are already an expert, you already deserve to be in this space, you already have something unique to give the world you already deserve to charge top dollar. People already want to work with you. You don’t have to make it before any of those things happen. Or it’s true, they are already true. The moment that you raised your hand and decided to start this journey of being an entrepreneur, and turning your passion into a business, that is the moment that’s the moment that you can say you made it and every moment since then. And every moment going forward is just about growth. Growth is important and powerful and positive and exciting. But please don’t look at your growth and goals as a way to make it because you are already there. Your goals and dreams for the short term and the long term future are just about improving and doing better.
They’re about shifting as your season of life changes. But they aren’t an indication of whether or not you have made it. So as I wrap up this week’s episode, I just want to reiterate the unpopular opinion that you have to reach any milestone at all, before you have made it. This isn’t true at all. And I don’t want you to carry this pressure around with you, because it creates a really heavy burden to drag around. Instead, please no and believe that you have already made it that you already deserve whatever goodness you think will come when this particular goal is met. I want you to stop looking at your goals and dreams with the scarcity of when this happens, I will have made it attaching that I will have made it statement to the end of your goal is a negative belief and it’s dependent on you reaching this goal. Instead, try swapping out your thoughts instead of thinking when I’m able to charge over $1,000 for a photo session I will have made it change that to when I’m able to charge over $1,000 for a photo session I will have a higher profit margin and be able to pay myself more.
Those statements are true and exciting but they don’t attach a fake make it to the end of that statement. This is important because when you meet this goal, you won’t feel any different. You won’t feel like you have made it whatever that feels like. And that’s going to be frustrating. And it’s going to cause you to jump into another goal with the same expectation that will inevitably, again, leave you frustrated and struggling. So here’s another example. Instead of thinking when I am published in a magazine, I will have made it changed that to when I am published in a magazine, I can start including that detail in my marketing. And on my website, again, do you see how one statement ends in this vague notion of success, while the other one is a simple statement based in truth with a concrete endpoint. The second statement allows you to reach your goal, know exactly what will happen and then you have closure and you feel complete when your goal is met. And from that space, you are absolutely going to celebrate your success because that’s the fun part of reaching a goal.
But instead of feeling uncertain about, quote, unquote, making it and whatever that means, or what to do with that information, you can celebrate your win and move on to the next exciting goal or not, when you realize that you’re already deserving, that you already matter that you’re already worth it that you have already made it. That is when you can start growing and striving from a place of abundance and trust, and your need to continue to strive toward this unattainable and fake goal of making it will go away. As I mentioned in the beginning of this episode, I felt called to share this thought and to dig into this unpopular opinion but it is a little complicated to talk through. I hope that my rambling today made sense and that you get the gist of where I wanted to go. You are worthy of everything you are striving for. And you have already made it. Alright my friend. That’s it for today.
Join me here next week as we begin a brand new series all about money. It’s going to be a good one. So stay tuned.
Thanks so much for listening to the shoot it straight podcast. You can find all the full show notes and details from today’s episode at Sabrina gebhardt.com backslash podcast. Come find me and connect over on the gram at Sabrina Gephardt photography. If you’re loving the podcast, I’d be honored if you hit that subscribe button and leave me a review. Until next time, my friends shoot it straight